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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jan;119(1):13-24. doi: 10.1007/s10549-009-0566-z.

Prognosis of BRCA-associated breast cancer: a summary of evidence.

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  • 1Juravinski Cancer Centre, Department of Oncology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. Louise.Bordeleau@jcc.hhsc.ca


The purpose of the study is to review the clinical studies relevant to the prognosis and prognostic associations of BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated breast cancers. Reports of relevant studies obtained from a MEDLINE search and references from these articles were critically reviewed. A number of methodologic limitations have been identified in the early studies. More recent studies have failed to demonstrate, for the most part, a significant overall survival difference between BRCA-associated breast cancers and sporadic breast cancers. The risk of in-breast tumor recurrence also appears to be similar in the first 5 years following a breast cancer diagnosis with apparent increase in the risk after 5 years in one study. Many in-breast tumor recurrences are now considered to be second primary breast cancers. There is a significant increase in the risk of contralateral breast cancers in BRCA mutation carriers with an estimated 10-year risk ranging from 20-40%. The prognosis of BRCA-associated breast cancers appears to be similar to that of sporadic breast cancers based on the current literature. Future data from large prospective cohort studies will be of interest.

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